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Category Archives: Hair Growth

Hibiscus for Hair

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D.I.Y hibiscus shine spray & shine boosting mask

DIY Shine Spray

Like rosemary, hibiscus is a great natural ingredient to incorporate into your hair regime. The hibiscus flower is mainly used in herbal teas, but not only is the tea healthy and delicious, it can also work wonders on your hair! Although there has been very little scientific research into the beauty benefits of the flower, it has been used by women for centuries, in cultures all over the world. For me, the best thing about using hibiscus on your hair is the fantastic shine it gives, especially to red and brunette hair, and it couldn’t be easier or cheaper to prepare!

Step 1

Cut Hibiscus

The first thing you will need to do, is buy some chopped hibiscus. I get mine off ebay here for £4.25 for 200g (This will make 20 bottles of shine spray!!). Make sure your hibiscus is dry and fine cut.

 

Step 2

Hibiscus

Measure out 10g of chopped hibiscus. Add this in a saucepan to 500ml of boiling water. Leave to brew on a low heat for about 10 minutes (or up to half an hour if your patient).  The water should turn a lovely deep shade of pink. Also, your kitchen will smell AMAZING!

 

Step 3

Use a sieve to pour the tea into a measuring jug, wait till it is fully cooled and pour into an empty spritz bottle. And Viola! It’s that easy. Use liberally on damp hair before drying and you should see a visible difference in shine. You will have a lot of left over hibiscus in the sieve, but this doesn’t have to go to waste. Here are a few ways you can recycle the left overs :

  • To create a shine boosting mask, combine with a table spoon of coconut oil and apply all over wet hair. Wrap hair in a warm towel and leave over night. Wash thoroughly with a light shampoo and conditioner. Warning  this is messy, apply the paste in the shower or over a towel/sink.
  • To create a natural moisturising face wash, combine the left over leaves with some olive oil. Don’t be alarmed at how pink this is, it won’t dye your skin.
  • Keep the leaves in a ceramic bowl and put on top of a radiator to fill a room with their relaxing fragrance.

HibiscusAli x

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How to detangle hair without causing damage

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Detangler Looking after your hair whist it’s wet is so important to mantain its health and strength. Every time I’m in the gym changing rooms, I cringe to see women abusing their hair with brushes, towels and hair dryers. A single strand of dry hair can carry a load of 100g without breaking (Dr.John Gray), however when wet the natural hydrogen bonds are broken down making the hair extremely fragile, these reform during the drying process (this is why you hair will take on a different shape if you brade it when wet). After washing your hair you will notice that your hair is much more stretchy and will appear longer (so don’t trim your fringe when its wet!). This extra elasticity makes your hair much more prone to damage. So here are my golden rules to preventing hair loss, breakage and damage for wet hair.

Pre-shower preparation

It’s imporant to thorougly comb through your hair before you wash it to remove and tangles and knots. Washing tangled hair will only make it worse, this is especially important if you backcomb your hair. You could also use a tangle teaser if you prefer, just not a regular brush.

Shampooing

Treat your hair delicatley whilst washing, don’t pile it on the top of your head and scrub, instead massage the shampoo into your ends and work up to the roots. Aswell as not causing any tangles, this will reduce pull and stress on your hair, and you should notice a lot less hair fall in the shower.

Conditioning

This is common knowledge, but its important to comb your conditioner through your hair to distribute it evenly and remove any knots that might have occured during shampooing. Again start from the tips working up.

Post-shower care

When getting out of the shower, it’s most womens first instinct to wrap their hair up in a towel, although this isn’t the worst offender when it comes to hair sins, it is much more preferable to spend a few extra minutes to pat it dry. Twisting your hair into a towel will pull on your scalp and contribute to hair fall. The most important thing to not do is rub your hair vigorously with a towel, this will always cause brekage.

Detangling

So now you are at the point where you can potentially cause major damage to your hair. My first piece of advice would be to invest in a good detangling spray. I would highly reccommedJoico

the ‘Joico’ leave in detangler and heat protectant. It’s a little on the pricey side at about £10.95, but the product really delivers. It is super lightweight, leaving no residue at all, yet I can easily comb through my hair in one go without any pull. I buy mine from http://www.lookfantastic.com/joico-daily-care-leave-in-detangler-300ml/10793077.html and often get it for 15% cheaper as look fantastic give out discount codes every weekend! If your on a budget, the l’oreal kids detangling sprays work well and are only a couple of quid, they also smell yummy!

I section my hair and spray the product quite liberally all over, including the roots as this product wont weigh hair down. I leave it to get to work for a couple of minutes before grabbing my trusty GHD detangling comb. Having a good detangling wide toothed comb is crucial at this stage, they casue a lot less friction and are gentle on the hair so you wont end up just pulling straight through a knot and breaking it off. Any wide toothed comb will do, but here is mine if you are looking to buy a good quality one http://www.ghdhair.com/combs/detangling-comb. Like shampooing, it is important to work on your hair from the bottom up. A good technique is to hold a section of hair with one hand and comb with the other, moving upwards as tangles are removed, don’t just comb from the scalp as this is likely to pull hair out.

 

Drying

In an ideal world we would let our hair dry naturally and cause no damage whatsoever, but for the majority of us this just isn’t possible. As a minimum let your hair air dry to about 50%, so it just feels damp, before using any heat. Don’t blow dry with a round brush until hair is at least 80% dry, as it can’t retain any shape until this stage. Make sure to use a heat protectant if your detangling spray doesn’t contain one.

And voila, healthy, strong, tangle free hair!

togreatlengths

If you follow these steps, you should notice your hair feels much stronger, and that there is significantly less hair going down the drain! Has anyone tried the Aqua Tangle Teezer? I’d love to hear some reviews as I’m thinking about buying!

 

 

Ali x

 

 

 

Nisim Fast & Mane ‘n’ Tail for hair growth.

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Updated hair growth routine

 

Hello!

Thought I would give you a quick update on the products I’m using to maximize my hair growth. It’s been a couple of months since I finished up my Nisim FAST bottles, so I decided it was about time to start the regime again. However this time I have changed things up a bit, and instead of using the FAST conditioner, I have replaced it with  the Mane ‘n’ Tail conditioner, which is renowned for improving hair length.

m&t

 

Mane ‘n’ tail products were originally produced for horses but in the 90’s owners starting raving about the effects it was having on their own hair, and it hit the commercial beauty market. The company’s website states :

Original Mane ‘n Tail Conditioner benefits:

  • Exclusive micro-enriched protein formula fortifies the hair shaft preventing breakage and split ends
  • Natural oils nourish and condition hair and scalp while delivering essential moisture to dry, damaged, neglected hair.
  • Keeps hair tangle free, soft, manageable, renewed and healthy while achieving longer, stronger, fuller looking and feeling hair.
  • Effective as a leave-in or rinse out conditioner based on hair type and condition.
  • Safe and gentle for all hair types.

Although there is no scientific back up that the products improve hair growth, nor does the company guarantee it, the conditioner is packed full of hyrdolized proteins which will prevent damage and keep hair stronger for longer. I bought mine of Ebay as Mane ‘n’ Tail is difficult to find in the UK.

I’m really excited about this brand because the products are so cheap and their are thousands of glowing reviews about peoples hair being transformed using them. Combined with the FAST shampoo I am hoping to get a full inch of growth a month, if not more!

Lee Stafford

I have also just purchased the brand new Lee Stafford leave-in hair growth treatment. If you have had a look around my blog, you’ll know how much I love the pre-conditioner growth treatment that’s been on the market for a while now, so I had to snap this up straight away. As it’s a leave-in treatment, it works round the clock, so  I can’t wait to see how it compares to the other products in the range. Read more here http://www.leestafford.com/en/products/hair-growth/hair-growth-leave-in-treatment .

My hair is currently about 23.5 inches, so I will be doing fortnightly updates again to let you know how my new regime is going.

Let me know if you have tried any of these products before and your experiences!

Ali x

‘Swell’ 3 Step System Hair Care Review

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Swell shampoo, conditioner  & treatment spray.

Swell shampoo, conditioner & treatment spray.

I love a 3 step system, there is something about tackling a beauty issue in 3 simple steps that seems so fool proof. I have been using the Clinique 3 step system for my oily skin for a while now, I am very regimented with these products, it must be done morning and night without fail and in the correct way, but I doubt I will ever switch my skin care brand again. So when I heard about new hair brand ‘Swell’ and their 3 step system I was instantly intrigued.

The revolutionary system is for fine and limp hair. As my hair grows longer, I worry about my hair becoming thin and flat, so this sounded like a great product for girls growing their hair with the same anxieties as me. The system boasts immediate volume, accelerated hair growth, reduced hair loss, longer lasting blow dry’s, anti-static and detangling. That’s a lot to promise for a product made from 97% natural ingredients.

I was lucky enough to be sent the travel kit to sample, it came in a handy pouch with clear instructions on how to use the products. This was the first thing I really liked about the system, their ‘bespoke’ attitude towards washing your hair. No more ‘massage, rinse and repeat’ one size fits all instructions, but a method for each hair type – oily, normal, dry, thick and fine.  My hair is a little on the dry side and quite fine, however I use a lot of products and oil, so I tailored my usage slightly differently to what was written. I used the shampoo twice, I also used it on my ends, which it recommended I don’t do as this can make them dry but I needed to get rid of my product build up. The shampoo leaves your hair with that squeaky clean feeling I rarely experience with natural and organic products. Next, I used a small amount of conditioner, just on the very tips of my hair and left it on for just one minute, normally I leave my conditioner on for about 5.  After towel drying, I parted my hair in sections and sprayed the step 3 treatment onto my scalp. Unfortunately this is where I made a mistake, I used far too much of the product and when I dried my hair it felt greasy and flat. When using this spray, use it sparingly but massage all over your head for best results. The second time using the system I was far more successful, I realised I needed much shampoo too as it is double concentrated, making it very economical.

To test the system properly, I used no volumising or thickening products, but I did blow dry in sections with a barrel brush. I have washed my hair 6 times using swell over the last 2 weeks, and in that short amount of time I have noticed a definite change in my hair.

long

  • My hair feels much thicker immediately after washing
  • Considerably less hair fall in the shower and when brushing
  • Hair feels super light weight and bouncy
  • Gives excellent volume from a blow dry without any other products
  • Hair stays clean for 3 days, haven’t needed to use dry shampoo

Now I can’t comment on whether it has improved my hair growth yet, I would need at least 6 weeks to give a fair review, I will be purchasing the full size bottles and will update you in the next few months.

One thing I really loved about these products is that they contain no silicone’s. I am planning a more detailed post on these, but to put it simply silicone’s coat your hair making it feel smooth and shiny, however they do not penetrate your hair and do nothing to increase it’s health and vitality. Silicone’s are great in heat protectants as they form a barrier between your hair and the styling tool, but used in shampoo’s and conditioners they can leave a heavy residue and build up, something you definitely want to avoid if you have fine hair like me.

It is not often I see noticeable results in just two weeks with a shampoo or conditioner, so I am extremely impressed with the ‘Swell’ range, I would highly recommend it to any girls growing their hair who want to keep it thick and healthy. Unfortunately, great hair care doesn’t come cheap. The shampoo retails for £23, the conditioner £26 and the spray £30. So that is a hefty £79 for the lot. However, the products are double concentrated, meaning they will last much longer than your regular shampoo’s, and you wont need to splash out on volumising styling products as this system works wonders all by itself. Also if you become a ‘Swell VIP’ and like their facebook page you can get discounts on their online store.

For more information about the product and the brand check out their website http://www.swellhair.co.uk/ and also take a look at their blog where you can read great informative hints and tips about using the range, written by one of the top hairdressers in the UK Andrew Bidwell http://www.swellhair.co.uk/blog/ .

Bye for now,

Ali x

* Don’t forget to enter my Redken giveaway competition (previous post) open for subscribers until 17/06/13*

Blog give away competition – WIN full size Redken anti-snap 250ml

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redken_extreme_anti-snap_350w

To celebrate my blogs six month birthday, I’m giving all my lovely readers a chance to win a full size bottle of my ‘holy grail’ hair product, Redken Anti-Snap worth £15. I could rave about this product forever, it is definitely what saved my damaged hair and I would love one of you to experience the same results I did!

To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is comment on this post, or email me at aliolive2@gmail.com if you are not a wordpress user, telling me your holy grail hair product and why you love it, simple! The competition is open for a week until 17/6/13, when a winner will be chosen at random. Feel free to credit your blog with your comment.

Terms-

  • Must be a subscriber, either via wordpress, email, bloglovin or she said beauty.
  • Must be over 18
  • Open to entries from the U.K, Europe, Canada and USA.
  • One entry per person
  • No entries after 17/6/13

GOOD LUCK!!!!

Ali x

My Holiday Hair Sins – Confession & Redemption

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Last week me and my better half went on holiday to Ireland. I managed to bag us some lovely cheap flights,  but the robbing ba****ds  at Ryanair wanted to take 50 of my hard earned English pounds to check in a suitcase. Now I don’t want to make Michael O’leary any richer than absolutely necessary, so I decided a cabin bag would suffice. However this left me with a terrible first world dilemma, as you can only take 4 100ml liquids in your hand luggage, do I take make-up, skin care or hair care?!!

After a certain amount of time I would rather not admit to, I came to the conclusion that my skin care had to take priority over my hair. That probably sounds wrong as I run a hair care blog and not a skin care one, but I feel my skin would deteriorate more rapidly and would take longer to recover. I’m a religious user of Clinique’s 3 step system and without it my face just turns into an oil slick, ew. So I packed my 3 step and a bottle of foundation, and prayed to all the gods I could think of that I wouldn’t return home looking an absolute mess.

After arriving in Galway me and Dec dropped into the local supermarket to pick up some essential toiletries. As Ireland is soooo expensive we were on an extremely tight budget and despite my devastation, I had to buy the cheapest shampoo and conditioner I could find, that me and him could share! At first he suggested a 3 in 1 body wash, shampoo and conditioner and I nearly died, however we had not taken out any travel insurance so I pulled myself together and bought the next best thing.

photo (2)

 

Garnier fructis. I swear this stuff has been discontinued in the UK? But it was cheap and it would do. The shampoo was absolutely full of chemicals and rubbish that my hair hasn’t seen for a long time, the conditioner was only marginally better and had one of those ridiculous diagrams about how strong it will make your hair, which has no scientific backup whatsoever. Just to note, I don’t have coloured hair, but this was the cheapest. One thing that really was essential was heat protection spray, I couldn’t ever use heat on my hair without it, definitely my number 1 hair care sin.  I bought a travel Charles Worthington one which was 50% off in boots.

Now I really didn’t think using these very low-end shampoo’s and conditioners could do any damage in just a week. Now don’t get me wrong, I think you can find great hair care on a high street budget, but these just didn’t cut it. After my first wash my hair felt dry, it was difficult to comb through, flyaways were very noticeable and it felt thin and weak, and when I returned home yesterday I was shocked at the state it was in. I’m not blaming the shampoo and conditioner 100%, over the week I committed many hair care sins so this is my confession…

Windy Galway

Windy Galway

 

My hair suffered some major abuse off the Atlantic winds, making it very dry and knotted, leaving me with damaged hair and pondering why we hadn’t picked a nice hot beach holiday. I also used heat on it every day, something I am very much against, but as it was a holiday I wanted to look my best so I gave in. I also used a brush on my wet hair when I couldn’t find my comb, I didn’t deep condition, take biotin, drink enough water nor did I brush and braid my hair before bed like I normally do to prevent damage occurring from knots over night. All in all it was a terrible week for my hair. The damage is not irreversible but even though my last trim was less than 4 weeks ago, I am popping to the salon tomorrow to get the ends skimmed to neaten it up and get it back on track.

Now this is not an inspirational post, and you may be wondering why I am admitting the monstrosities that I have done to my hair this week, but there is a moral to this story. If you read my blog because your on a hair growth journey or thinking about starting one, or maybe you are looking to just get your hair healthy then you should know that it is a major commitment. Just 7 days of reverting back to my old ways from a year ago really deteriorated the quality of my hair and has left it vulnerable to future damage and now I have to go and get it trimmed, which is the last thing you want when your on a hair growth journey. A good quality shampoo and conditioner are the essential foundations to healthy hair, despite what your mother might tell you they are not all the same, you will definitely get what you pay for. When you commit to having healthy hair, you really need to stick at it, there is no point not using heat for a week, if your going to use it 4 or 5 times the following week.

So please heed my warning, and don’t take a break from your healthy hair care routine, I know I never will again!

Keep your eye out for my next post as it will be an updated Nisim FAST routine incorporating mane n tail conditioner for maximum hair growth.

Love Ali x

Lush ‘Roots’ Review

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Lush Roots

”Thine be the glory – Don’t despair, we’ve got a treatment for thin and fine hair.”

 

I must confess that before last weekend I was a bit of a Lush virgin. Except popping in for the odd birthday bath bomb for my mum, I had never gone in with the intention of trying their hair care. I have heard very mixed reviews about their hair products, and so was slightly weary. I actually went in because I had heard good things about their henna bars, as I’m thinking about ‘hennaing’ my hair a more vibrant red, so while I was discussing this with the sales assistant, I noticed ‘roots’ and was instantly intrigued.  If you have read my post on Redkens thickening lotion, then you’ll know I’m quite conscious of my hair getting thinner as it gets longer and am always a sucker for something that promises big voluminous hair.

 

‘Roots’ is a pre-shampoo treatment for fine/thin hair, which claims to revitalize and add body to your locks. It’s also a stimulant as it contains 3 types of mint, which will encourage hair growth, sounds right up my street! The tester pot smelt AMAZING, really fresh with a citrus twist. The sales assistant recommended I dampen my hair, massage the product into my scalp for about 15 minutes, and wash and condition with a gentle shampoo. A clarifying one would strip out all the goodness you’d put in.

 

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So in the bath, I did as instructed and really enjoyed the minty tingling sensation on my scalp. It is kind of hard work to massage your own head for 15 minutes, but it’s great  for hair growth so I persevered. When I washed it out my hair felt lovely and soft. I shampoo’d and conditioned the ends of my hair, used my L’oreal kids detangler and applied no other products, I wanted to determine if this treatment alone could add volume.

After blow drying my hair I was slightly disappointed my hair didn’t really look any thicker. However my roots felt super lightweight, and swishy! So although it didn’t add much volume, my hair had more movement and was bouncy. This product definitely revitalized and detoxed my hair, so this might be a great alternative to using a harsh clarifying shampoo every fortnight. In terms of hair growth, its much to early to tell, I think I’ll get about 8-10 uses out of this pot so I’ll report back when it’s used up.

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Overall I like this product. It’s nice to add another natural & organic product into my routine. If your looking for miracle volume you will be disappointed and would be better off with a post-wash volumising product, but if you experience product build up in your fine hair then this will be great for you.

Here is a link to the Lush product page for more details and ingredients https://www.lush.co.uk/product/6027/Roots-Scalp-Cream

Bye for now!

Ali x